Best Diet For Weight Loss

Best diet for weight loss

People are always looking for the best diet for weight loss. But which diets really works? Furthermore, how do you know which diet is best for you?

Society for years have been telling us to avoid fat. In the 1980’s, there was the craze of the low-fat diet. It seemed as if everything in the supermarket was low fat. However, during that same time obesity rates soared in North America.

Then the ‘get moving’ movement came along…..get out and exercise! Excellent advice of course, but then why 20-30 years later are we as a society more overweight than ever? 

Well, think of what manufacturers have to do to their product when they take the fat out? They add SUGAR!  In fact, sugar is everywhere including foods deemed healthy, even milk!

But “Isn’t Sugar Just Calories, Not Fat?”

We’ve all been told about the calories in/calories out formula.  So theoretically, “if I eat and then exercise, I won’t get fat”.

Well, that isn’t completely true. There are a lot of well-researched articles out there that explain this in depth, but the simple bottom line is that sugar is making us fat.

excess sugar

Why All The Hype About Sugar?

Sugar is glucose. Our blood cannot have an excess of glucose. This is why we have a hormone called insulin that regulates it. Insulin is crucial as it allows the cells in our muscles, fat and liver to absorb glucose that is in the blood. The glucose serves as energy to these cells. Our bodies are smart. The cells take only what they can use and nothing more.

What Happens When Our Cells Have What They Need, But There Is Excess Glucose In Our Blood?

For the sake of our health, insulin will take care of that! Insulin will convert it into fat, which appears on our tummy, thighs, arms..…all the places we’re trying to ‘burn it off’!

Our fat cells will always take more. They are never satisfied unlike the other cells which only take what they need.

So, our excess glucose is now FAT but sugar isn’t the only culprit.

Eating more protein than your body needs also converts to glucose. In addition foods high in carbohydrates act as a sugar in your body! Rice, pasta, potatoes, breads….all are glucose in your blood stream that insulin must deal with.

But our cells need energy! That is where FAT comes in. Our cells are designed to obtain energy from fat and our brain needs fat to function properly.

healthy fats

Not All Fat Is Bad Fat

Now, we’re not talking about harmful trans-fats. Rather the mono/poly-unsaturated ‘good’ fats that come from vegetables and plants. Think avocados, nuts, salmon and coconut oil.

Also, some saturated fats in moderation are necessary, despite even what national health guidelines may tell us. Saturated fat and cholesterol are essential to brain health and are not to be avoided! Not only are these fats essential to our body but they are low on the glycemic index which keeps your insulin low.

All About The Essentials

When you think about it, we have ‘essential’ proteins, fats and amino acids. “But have you ever heard of an ‘essential carbohydrate’?”

By consuming fat you’re keeping your blood sugar low and are more likely to feel satisfied. Therefore you’re less likely to get ‘hangry’ and make poor food choices. This is because with insulin low and blood sugars stable, your brain will make appropriate choices and you will feel fuller longer.

Fat has all sorts of other great health benefits. So don’t fear the fat! In fact, eat more fat, eat less carbohydrate foods and sugars. Your brain will thank you; not to mention you will have greater energy that is sustained throughout the day.

low carb high fat

My Own Testimonial On The Best Diet For Weight Loss

I started a high-fat, low carb way of eating in the summer of 2015. Within a few weeks I was eating less food in general. Not consuming the copious amounts of food that our society seems to believe we need. Due to reducing sugar-laden foods, my taste buds became more sensitive to pure natural tastes which made meals more enjoyable.

My digestive system is now happier. My brain fog, gone. I lost 40 pounds by spring and have kept it off. Also, when I get hungry, I’m not ‘hangry’ and can prepare wholesome foods for my family. The research I’ve done on fat has proven this to be the best diet for weight loss and has been well worth it. You too may reap the benefits. So fear not the fat!

Dangers Of Vaping

E-Cigarettes Found to Have 10 times More Cancer Causing Ingredients than Regular Cigarettes

Recently the dangers of vaping has been all over the news and social media. Vocalizing the hidden risks after reports of numerous deaths and illness that incurred to seemingly healthy individuals.

Where It All Started

There have been many products developed over the years to help people quit smoking.  In fact, vaping was initially introduced for that exact reason. However, recent reports are stating that;

e-cigarettes will impose similar long-term cardiovascular and pulmonary risks as those associated with conventional cigarettes.

How Vaping Works

E-cigarettes are designed to deliver nicotine to a user in the form of vapour. Typically via a rechargeable battery-operated heating element. Hence where the word vaping came from.

The cartridges filled with nicotine and chemicals inhaled by the user are replaceable. However, the FDA has not evaluated e-cigarettes for their safety.

Dangers Of Vaping

Originally, E-Cigarettes became popular because of their ability to provide a hit of nicotine. Supposedly without the worry of added chemicals and toxins found in regular cigarettes. However, vaping cannot be considered risk free.  Reports are now surfacing stating that vaping can cause harm to the lungs and attribute to disease including COPD.

Furthermore,  there was a CDC study published in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research;

“More than a quarter of a million youth who had never smoked a cigarette used electronic cigarettes in 2013. This is a three-fold increase from 79,000 in 2011 to more than 263,000 in 2013.”

Here at Family Health Advocacy, we’re all about living the most healthy lifestyle that you can. Eating well. Enjoying movement. And eliminating toxins.

vaping

Are You Ready To Quit Smoking & Vaping?

Follow these tips:

1. Stop Buying Them!

They are harder to get your hands on if they’re not in the house. Also, the inconvenience of going to purchase them may allow you enough time to convince yourself not to buy them!

2. Load Up On Fruit & Vegetables

I know this sounds lame.  However the vitamins and minerals your body has lost from smoking must be replenished.  Helping yourself to reduce cravings.

For further information, click here to read, “Nutrition and Smoking: Foods to Help You Quit!”

3. Antioxidant Diet

According to research, eating a diet high in antioxidants, especially those found in tomatoes can help to repair lung damage caused by smoking.

4. Talk To Your Natural Health Practitioner

Your natural health practitioner can put together solutions customized specifically for you. There are many herbs and natural remedies that can support your body through this difficult transition.  Although natural, they are also very powerful to help you quit smoking.

Try these solutions for yourself.  Avoid the dangers of vaping, smoking, JUULing. QUIT TODAY!

Adrenal Fatigue? 7 Tips to Fight Back Naturally

adrenal fatigue

Everyone has felt stress at some point in their lives.  That feeling of being so overwhelmed and overworked that you can’t eat or sleep.  Unfortunately, stress has become ingrained in our culture.  We associate it with hard work and success, assuming that we can’t have one without the other.   Though some stress is necessary, we often bite off more than we can chew.  We fail to realize that the more stressed we are, the less efficient we are.  We ignore the negative effects stress has on our bodies but unnecessary stress can lead to a multitude of symptoms including:

  • Adrenal fatigue
  • Exhaustion
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep disturbances

.

adrenal glands

What Are Adrenal Glands And What Do They Do?

The adrenal glands (also known as suprarenal glands) are the triangle-shaped endocrine glands that sit on top of your kidneys.  The adrenal glands are hormone producing glands similar to ovaries, testicles and the thyroid.  They are the regulators of your body as they’re responsible for regulating stress responses and play an important role in the maintenance of a healthy immune system.

Adrenal glands are key contributors to:
  • Proper thyroid function
  • Balance of hormones
  • Maintaining one’s ideal weight
  • Stabilizing emotions
  • Controlling cravings

Multiple studies have proven that the health of the adrenal glands will dictate the health and recovery of many types of chronic illnesses.  Since chronic stress is the main cause of overactive adrenals, it’s important that we find a way to control and eliminate stress.

Click here to read, “CFS – Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms & Natural Solutions”.

Moreover, proper nutrition, adequate rest, and exercise is also very important. Unfortunately, an astounding amount of people suffer from adrenal fatigue due to lifestyle factors that are often overlooked.

What is Adrenal Fatigue?

Adrenal fatigue is a common side effect of stress and has three phases:
  1. The Alarm Phase – when the body is acknowledging stress
  2. The Resistance Phase – when the body is trying to fight stress
  3. The Exhaustion Phase – when the adrenals become tapped out.

Depending the phase a person is in, the levels of cortisol (produced by the adrenals) will range from high or low at different points in the day.  Cortisol levels should be at their peak in the morning.  So, when we wake up we feel refreshed and ready to go.  Alternatively, they should be at their lowest at night when it’s time to go to bed.  Any variation of these levels will affect a person’s well-being.  Especially if stress is experienced for long periods of time.  Hence the last phase being exhaustion.

Click here to read, “Bedtime Woe’s? – 5 Simple Tips For Blissful Zzzz’s”.

Other than exhaustion, additional symptoms of adrenal fatigue include:
  • Excessive perspiration
  • Dark circles under the eyes
  • Cravings for salt
  • Chronic infections
  • Low blood pressure
  • Low blood sugar
  • Muscle twitches
  • Lack of libido
  • Light headed
  • Poor concentration
  • Sleep disturbance (typically waking up between 2-4 am)

So what can you do?  There are numerous natural ways to support the adrenals.

adrenal fatigue

Are Your Adrenals Fatigued?

I see the following scenario regularly in my practice.  A busy mom with a demanding career comes in complaining of;

  • Hot flashes
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of libido
  • Inability to lose weight
  • Feeling low

For the last 15 years she has been dealing with;

  • Work deadlines
  • Kid’s sports
  • Homework
  • Cooking
  • Cleaning

She goes from morning to night with little sleep.  Her adrenals are tired but she pushes through the chronic fatigue and insomnia.  She notices other symptoms such as headaches, inability to lose weight, and mood swings.  This common scenario is what many natural health professionals refer to as, “adrenal steal”.

Unable to function properly due to years of stress, the adrenals are forced to steal key hormonal building blocks from other hormones like:

  • Progesterone
  • DHEA
  • Estrogen
  • Testosterone

Hence contributing to hormonal imbalances and a slew of side effects that come with them.  Keeping the adrenal glands in check is the best way for women to avoid fatigue and keep their hormones happy.

How to Fight Adrenal Fatigue

chiropractor

See a Chiropractor – Chiropractic care plays a crucial role in adrenal health.  Physical, chemical or emotional stressors can cause stress on the spine and nervous system.  The goal of chiropractic care is to balance and optimize the entire nervous system contributing to healthy adrenal function in addition to a multitude of other health benefits.

early to bed

Go to Bed Early – You should be sleeping 7 to 8 hours and preferably going to bed before midnight.  Make sure you allow some time to wind down and relax to help your cortisol level lower before bed.

clean eating

Eat Clean – Avoid processed foods and sugar.  Focus on good fats, moderate protein, and tons of veggies that are phytonutrient rich.  You are what you eat, so feed your body the right fuel.

vitamins

Take an Adrenal Support Supplement – Consuming whole, organic foods rich in phytonutrients is great for adrenal support.  However, supplementation is sometime needed to support proper adrenal function.

Beneficial supplements Include:
  • B complex
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
  • Omega 3 fatty acids

Also beneficial are botanical adaptogens.  They can be taken to help support the adrenal glands throughout the stress response process.

Examples of botanical adaptogens include:

  • Ashwagandha root
  • Rhodiola rosea extract
  • Suma
  • Schisandra chinensis berry extract
yoga, meditation

Exercise – Regular exercise is known to combat stress, which helps to improve adrenal function.  But be aware that if your adrenals are exhausted, intense exercise may be more detrimental than beneficial.  Try yoga or meditation.

Click here to read, “Put A Little Namaste In Your Life”.

cortisol saliva test

Get Tested! – Measuring cortisol levels can help determine adrenal health.  The Cortisol Saliva Test also know as the Adrenal Stress Test, has become the preferred way of evaluating cortisol levels.

A newer test, the DUTCH test, is another method one can use.  The test involves a urine steroid hormone profile.  This measures hormones and hormone metabolites (called conjugates) in a dried sample.

Heart Rate Variability (HRV) technology used by chiropractors, is another way to evaluate stress.  It measures and tracks a patient’s autonomic nervous system state.

Think your adrenals are suffering from adrenal fatigue?  Start by taking an inventory of your life stressors and see which ones you can kick to the curb following the 7 tips above.

Unraveling Emotional Cravings

Natural Migraine Relief

Anxiety. Self-doubt. Sadness. Loneliness. Frustration. Boredom.

These emotions are can be quite uncomfortable. When they make an appearance it is a natural inclination to push them away- with food, alcohol, drugs, shopping, excessive exercise. I’ve done it all, but for many years my most reliable self-medicating drug of choice was sugar. With that sublime hit of dopamine, sugar temporarily softened the edge of anxiety and self-doubt. The problem was that the post sugar-fix trough was even more unbearable than the initial uncomfortable emotion.

I gave up sugar a year ago; as a result I needed a new strategy to deal with my emotional cravings. Here are a few tips based on my experience (I believe the same strategies can be utilized to deal with emotional cravings for drugs, alcohol, shopping, etc.):

Address cravings directly by asking questions:

Am I craving this because I am hungry? If not, what is going on? Am I looking for a hit of dopamine?

• Am I hoping to numb an unpleasant feeling by eating this item? If so, can I sit with this feeling for a bit?

• Where is this feeling stemming from? Is the feeling irrational?

• Is there something else I can do to address this feeling?

Make a list of things you love to do. When you recognize an emotional craving commit to trying one (or more) of these activities. For example:

take a walk
• listen to a podcast
• cuddle with a partner/pet
• call a friend
• do yoga
• paint/draw/journal
• listen to a favorite song
• read a book or a magazine

Understand that freedom from emotional cravings is a process.

Don’t sink into self-loathing if you have a bit of a backslide. Forgive yourself and move on. You can choose to learn from the experience and be better equipped to deal with the next emotional craving.

The ability to understand the process is transformative. I am NOT cured of emotional eating. Just the other day I was experiencing a mental block while working on a big project and frustration was creeping in. I could feel the frustration transitioning to anxiety and suddenly I was daydreaming about almond butter. I could clearly envision sliding open the silverware drawer, grabbing a spoon, opening the fridge and reaching for the jar. How enjoyable a fat scoop of almond butter would be! But because I’ve been practicing, I was able to pull back and became an observer of my thoughts. It was interesting that the uncomfortable feelings led to the almond butter jar. I asked myself a few questions: Was I hungry? Nope. Was I experiencing an emotional craving? Yep.  

I turned to my tried and true anxiety remedy: I went outside. I took a hike in the woods. I stopped to notice the new buds forming on the plants and trees, to appreciate the bright green ferns poking out of the layer of decayed fall leaves. I watched the birds and listened to them calling to one another. The walk was refreshing and renewed a deep sense of appreciation in my soul. But when I returned and tried to sit once again with my project the frustration came rushing back. I clearly wasn’t done with my mental break yet.

So I played one of my favorite inspirational podcasts and cleaned out a cupboard. And you know what? The podcast happened to be about the very issue with which I was seeking guidance! I gratefully received the inspiration I had been craving, I felt accomplished about my tidy cabinet, and I had subsequent success with my project. All without almond butter!

If you are dealing with emotional cravings, they can feel impossible to resolve. Know that you have all the tools you need to start the unraveling process: awareness, a plan, and self-compassion!

______________________________

Blog by Guest Author:

Katie HarrisonKatie Harrison

I am a teacher, a Primal Health Coach, and a resident of a tiny Alaskan town. My husband and I live in a 384 square foot wood-heated cabin without running water. We love to play outside, catch fish, and forage for wild plants.

You can find me on my website, Awaken Your Glow, and Instagram.

https://www.awakenyourglow.com/

https://www.instagram.com/awakenyourglow/

What is the Best Type of Exercise for My Body?

Best Type of Exercise for My Body

There is so much conflicting information about the best way to exercise. How do you know what is best for you?

Our bodies were designed to withstand the need to make surges of speed, but not to withstand long distance running. Our ancestors would run short distances to get out of harm’s way, to chase down dinner or to help a friend in need. We were not designed to run for great distances over long periods of time.

There are many forms of exercise that bring this principle into effect, such as High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), where you work out as hard as you can for a short duration of time, potentially even for only 45 or 60 seconds (which seems like a lifetime when you’re doing as many push ups as you can!!) and then resting for the same timeframe or a little less. This kicks your metabolism into high gear, adds a significant surge of adrenaline into your body to keep up with this form of exercise and pushes your body to grow and develop muscle and improves your fitness.

The opposite form of exercise would be traditional cardio. You jump on a treadmill or hit the road for 30-60 minutes of fast walking or jogging until the time is up. Sustained movement for a long period of time, generally at the same pace and difficulty level to make your body move and cooperate. Cardio can help to lower your resting heart rate, increase your good HDL cholesterol and lower blood pressure, as well as improving circulation, blood flow and lymphatic drainage.

But cardio can also cause your body to produce higher levels of cortisol which can stimulate your appetite, increase fat storage and inhibit recovery.

How is this possible when exercising is supposed to be helping you lose weight and/or get fit? It has to do with the hormones that are released with each type of exercise. Cardio can decrease testosterone production and HIIT can improve your growth hormone levels while lowering your insulin resistance to help regulate blood sugar and reduce fat storage.

What is the best form of exercise for me? How do I know?

The best form of exercise for you is the one that you will actually do!! The risks of a sedentary lifestyle are much worse than the risks involved with either HIIT or cardio. Additionally, there are many other forms of exercise that offer corresponding benefits and risks, such as yoga, pilates, rebounding, kickboxing, hiking, crossfit and many others!

So talk with your natural health practitioner about what he/she would recommend as the best form of exercise for your personal situation and do that! Fall in love with joyful movement – find something you love to do and do it often. Or mix it up and take on different forms of exercise to keep your body guessing and working toward your optimal fitness levels. Have fun!

With Sources from:

http://drhardick.com/say-no-to-traditional-cardio

Vision and Health: Can’t have one without the other

Vision for Health

I had worked at a homeless shelter for 2 years giving free chiropractic care to the down and out in Hamilton. The man in front of me had come in for back pain. I always asked these men the same question at their intake exam:

“What is the vision of what you want to do with your life?” His response tore my heart: “I have failed at everything I have ever tried and I’m not even sure if I want to live anymore.”

As you can imagine if people have LOW or NO vision, like the above example, their investment of time and money into health disciplines like nutrition, exercise, spinal health and relationships will probably be VERY LOW to NON-EXISTENT. Consequently, their health will be very poor, as it was with the above man. The BEST way to get healthy is to NEED good health because of your vision for amazing health. 

If we NEED our bodies to be healthy in order to accomplish our BIG dreams, then we MUST take care of them. 

Vision is EVERYTHING. As a chiropractor for 20 years now, I realize that the MOST important piece of information we can glean from the New Patient exam is precisely what I asked that man: “What is your vision for your life?”  We then ask: “What do you miss MOST due to your poor health right now?”.  Finally we ask, “If this condition was left alone for 5 years and did not improve how would that affect your life?”

EVERYONE has a vision and desire for CRISIS care. This puts us in a place of “no choice” meaning that we MUST fix the problem, no matter how long it takes or how much it costs. Crisis care may be the 30 year old Dad who can’t work as a mechanic due to sciatica. His wife and kids will starve if he can’t get his spine fixed. No choice. It may be the 65 year old widowed grandma who has hip pain and can’t play golf. Her Tuesday and Thursday night golf league is what she lives for and she can’t give it up. No choice. These people will ALWAYS proceed with their corrective care plan. 

The BIG SOLID YELLOW differentiating line is this: once the crisis is gone, do people have a vision for ongoing wellness care? This may mean weekly or bi-weekly adjustments for life. The answer to this question depends on their belief. Will on-going wellness chiropractic in some REAL way help me achieve my dream of being healthy until I’m 90? If they can’t see how chiropractic may help do that then they will NOT continue into wellness care. This same decision making process will determine whether they work out for life and eat healthy food for life.   

The first pre-requisite here is that you have a VISION for good health which means a compelling REASON as to why you need good health. This varies for everyone but could be grandkids, travel, ministry work, sports and golf, taking care of sick family etc.   

The second pre-requisite is understanding how a healthy spine will get you there. A spine that has good mobility and structure IS that key to amazing health in older years. A spine that is immobile, mis-aligned, arthritic and decaying will rob people of their ability to fulfill their dreams especially in later years.

Recently at my clinic my patient, a 60 year old lady, had her adjustment and then sat on the table and announced that she got an award from her Gym. She had hit the 1800 mark.  She had done 1800 workouts over a 13 year period of time. WOW!! It just so happens that she finished 10 years of wellness care with me; close to 300 adjustments. She is one of the healthiest and most joyful people I know. She always comes in with a smile and is praising our team and her husband and her kids and friends. She has a VISION for wellness and believes that chiropractic is a large part of the HOW to be optimally healthy. 

Ultimately as humans we have two choices when a health challenge robs our ability to do what we love to do. The first choice is to LOWER our vision and NOT fix the health issue.  An example would be the 70 year old who decides to quit golf because it causes him extreme back pain every time he plays.

The second choice is to MAINTAIN our vision and dream and to FIX the health issue. This would be the 70 year old man who follows through on a corrective care plan and then ongoing wellness care for 20 years and continues to play golf until he is 90!

The most important question for the patient is: “What vision do you believe will allow you to have the most abundant and healthy life possible?” Life-time wellness chiropractic care OR symptom-based crisis-relief care? If you believe life-time wellness care is best for you then find that chiropractor that also believes this.

Without a compelling vision for your life, you may not need good health. If you lose your health you lose everything. If you lose your vision you also lose everything. They both go hand in hand. You can’t have one without the other. 

_________________________________

Guest Blog by Dr. Mark del Cantero

Dr. Mark del CanteroDr. Mark Del Cantero has been a structural corrective chiropractor for 20 years now in Ancaster, Ontario.  He has helped thousands of people to not only restore their health but to maintain it and achieve high levels of health and vitality.  He not only takes an interest in spinal health but also in nutrition, exercise and stress management.  

He graduated from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College as a Chiropractor in 1996 with clinical honours and has since taken all of the core courses in Chiropractic Biophysics Technique.  He completed his  undergraduate degree in Biology at the University of Toronto in 1990.

He has been a speaker at various venues including Warrior Coaching and dozens of groups locally in Hamilton.  

He lives with his wife and three children in Ancaster, Ontario.  

You can find Dr. Mark at:

Website: http://www.cedarspringschiro.com/

Social Media: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cedarspringschiro

Twitter: https://twitter.com/chirocedar

Instagram @cedarspringschiro

Put A Little Namaste In Your Life

Namaste in your life yoga

If you are like me, I’ve often been intimidated to go to a public yoga class because of all the yogi terms that I’m not familiar with. I didn’t want to draw attention to myself, as I floundered on my mat, attempting to mimic what the teacher was doing.

Instead, I’ve always opted to do yoga in the comfort of my own home. Thankfully, I’ve learned a lot of the “yoga talk” by now and could probably follow along in a public class but I have to admit, the first few times I did yoga, I felt like a fish out of water. There was a whole new vocabulary that I wasn’t familiar with and it made me wonder if others feel the same way. 

Yoga has offered me a new way of life. My online teacher always talks about the healing benefits of yoga, and in the moment, I didn’t really feel like it was doing much for me. But I persevered. After a couple off months of a consistent yoga practice, I started to get what she was talking about. I felt like I was processing my feelings differently, and I was more in tune with my body.

The Sanskrit language is often used in yoga practice to describe the poses or postures that are done. We are going to break down some of the most common terms used, to hopefully make you more comfortable in a yoga class.

Guru: The English language has adopted the use of this Sanskrit word to indicate someone who is an expert in their field of study. For example, he/she is a technology guru.  However, when used in a yoga class, guru refers to a person who is a spiritual mentor or teacher.

Mantra: A mantra is an instrument of the mind, where a sound or phrase is used to enter a state of meditation or intention.

Mudra: During a yoga practice different hand gesture or mudras are used. Two very common mudras are anjali mudra, where the palms are pressed together and are positioned in front of the heart and gyana mudra where the index finger and thumb are touching.

Savasana: This is a yoga pose that is usually performed at the end of the yoga practice. It is also known as the corpse pose, where you are lying flat on your back, legs are extended and palms are at your sides and are facing upwards. This pose is meant to ignite total body relaxation so you can assimilate the benefits of your yoga practice.

Namaste: This is usually said at the end of a yoga practice and it literally means, I bow to you. Much like a prayer is ended with Amen, a yoga class normally ends with Namaste.

Prana: Prana describes the life force in the body.

Pranayama: Yoga utilizes the breath to inspire motion, and pranayama defines the control of the breath. It is a conscious control of breath inhalation, retention, and exhalation.

Now that you are familiar with some common yoga terms, it’s time to put a little Namaste in your life. Roll out your mat and get comfortable with your yoga practice.

Are Toxins Making You Fat?

Are Toxins Making You Fat?

Every day we are bombarded by thousands of chemicals in our environments and lifestyles that have the potential to accumulate in our bodies.

From the cosmetics that are loaded with chemicals that you use on a daily basis, to the pesticides on our produce, various preservatives and lab created additives in any processed food you consume, toxins you are exposed to at work, environmental smog and car fumes on your way to work, cleaning chemicals used at your office or you choose to use at home, the laundry detergent residue touching you all day, and finally the smelly candle you light in the evening to relax after a hectic toxin-filled day can all contribute to weight gain.

How on earth can toxins affect your weight?

Our bodies are brilliant. Every single thing about them is designed to survive. No matter what we put in or on our bodies, the stress we put them under and the activities we motor through in a day, our bodies are continually evolving and adapting to keep us alive.

When toxins find their way into our bodies, we deal with them very systematically. We process them through our liver, kidneys and intestines and move them out! But those that can not be moved out so easily, or if there is a back up in our detox systems, these toxins can be swiftly moved to the outer regions of our body, simply to protect our organs. And these toxins are stored in fat cells.

So, in a way, we can thank our bodies for moving these potentially life-threatening toxins to our hips instead of letting them build up in our hearts. However, those toxins shouldn’t be allowed to stay there forever, so we have to safely move them out, without detoxifying and recycling the toxins through our bodies.

How do we safely detoxify?

1. The first thing to start to detoxify is to stop toxifying yourself in the first place!
• buy organic produce
• swap your cosmetics for natural options from health food store
use vinegar and baking soda to clean (no more harsh chemicals! Really, how dirty can we be?)
• avoid processed foods
• stop using products with lots of fragrance

2. Drink warm water with lemon every morning when you wake up.
This helps to gently stimulate your detox organs and start the detox process of the toxins that built up overnight.

3. Drink more water throughout the day. This loosens up the cells and moves digestion through – a major detox system.

4. Exercise daily! Movement helps everything move. Especially your lymph system which can not move by itself. It needs gravity and our movement to help things run.

5. Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables – as organically as possible
These foods contain immense quantities of antioxidants to help fight against free radicals and other toxins that build up.

6. Talk to your natural health practitioner about herbs, tinctures and essential oils that would be helpful for your personal situation. There are wonderful, natural options to help to gently support your detoxification protocols without releasing all of the toxins at once and causing a RE-toxification situation.

Exercises to Help Improve Your Posture

Virtually everything we do requires us to hunch forward – typing, cooking, driving, etc. When we slouch, our chest muscles shorten, our back muscles weaken, and our abdominal muscles grow slack. This muscle shortening is a cause of a wide range of uncomfortable symptoms. Fortunately, however, being mindful of our posture can prevent back pain, help us feel better, and even assist in projecting more confidence.

We hear a lot about “core” strength, but what exactly is the core? Put simply, it is the series of abdominal and lower back muscles that connect to your spine and pelvis. These muscles are involved in virtually every movement we perform, but like any other muscle group they can become unbalanced from lack of consistent use. Imbalances in strength and use can cause them to grow fatigued, get overstressed, and wither over time.

In order to improve posture, we must strengthen our core muscles through consistent, periodic training, without overdoing it. Finding routines which use resistant bands or dumbbells can be a great way to improve strength and flexibility but it’s important to realize the differences between resistance bands and dumbbells before incorporating them into your fitness routine.

Having the right routine to strengthen your core will assist in reversing the feeling of “tight” muscles, strengthen little-used muscles that have atrophied through lack of use, and keep consistently-used muscles from growing fatigued.

Try the following simple exercises on alternating days with one day off in-between. You may feel a bit sore on the first few days, but being consistent with this quick and easy routine will improve your posture and fortify your core and back muscles.

Core Exercises:

Lying Leg Raises

Lie down on your back with your legs straight. Put your hands by your sides or under your glutes with palms facing down (to support the lower back). Press your lower back to the floor as you lift your legs off the ground until they make a 90-degree angle from the floor. Slowly lower your legs back down towards the ground.

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Curl Up/Crunches

Lie down on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Put your hands across your chest or pointing forward by your sides. Keep your lower back pressed to the floor, slowly roll your head, shoulders, and upper back off the ground. With control, slowly roll back down.

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Plank

Start with your elbows on the ground with palms facing down and fingers facing forward. Make sure that your shoulders are right above your elbows, and they are away from your ears (no shrugging). Your toes should be tucked under towards your shins. Keep your core tight and leg rigid. Try squeezing your thigh and glute muscles. Hold in this position for as long as you’re comfortable. You should not be feeling your lower back.

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Back-Focused Exercises:

Superman:

Lie down on your stomach with your arms out overhead and your legs straight behind you. Lift your arms and legs off the ground simultaneously as you contract your back and glute muscles. Keep the motion slow and controlled. Your neck, head, and spine should be aligned. Slowly lower your arms and legs back down on the ground.

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Shoulder Blade Pinch:

Stand or sit with your shoulders back, down, and relaxed. Squeeze your shoulder blades together as you open up your chest. Hold the pinch for 10 seconds.

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Cobra Back Extension:

Lie on your stomach with your hands by your shoulders. Straighten your arms as you contract your back muscles in a back bend. Hold this pose for a second before slowly lowering back down.

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Trainer’s Tips:

Pull ab muscles in and up toward your spine – try not to use your hips to move your lower core.
Use slow, controlled movements—don’t jerk your body through the movement.
Breathe evenly throughout the movement—don’t hold your breath.
Stop doing any activity that causes pain or makes pain worse!

 

 

Blog by Guest Author:  Sally Leung – a fitness coach, certified personal trainer, fitness instructor, and nutrition and wellness specialist who is committed to helping others live their healthiest lives. She is also the host of Get Fit, Get Strong on Rogers TV and the creator of her signature program – The Bikini Body Method. Sally believes in sustainable changes, and she is passionate about helping everyone discover how to permanently improve their lives. For workout ideas, fitness tips, and recipes, check out her website www.SallyLeungFitness.com and follow her on social media: www.Facebook.com/SallyLeungFitness and www.Instagram.com/SallyLeungFitness

Sitting Too Much is the New Smoking

sitting

The amount of sitting that we do in a day has quickly become a concern for our health and longevity.  Studies reveal that the health impact of sitting for too many hours a day can be compared to the effects that smoking has on our health.

A sedentary lifestyle has been linked to;
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Weakened immune system.

Let’s explore some ways to ensure that you don’t fall symptom to these diseases.

Shocking!  How Many Hours Of Sitting We Do In A Day

There is the time in the car on the way to and from work.  The 8 hours at the office.  All in addition to spending time each night on the couch in front of the television, computer or on your phone.

The winter months in Canada can be particularly difficult to get motivated to work out or to be more active.  But there are some simple things that you can add to your daily routine to increase your activity level without having to brave the elements of winter.

Set A Goal To Be Active 10 Minutes Each Hour That You Are Awake!

If you wake up at 6 am and go to bed at 10 pm, then you have 160 minutes to fill with activity.  Don’t panic.  Activity doesn’t mean that you have to be actively exercising.

Activity could be as simple as;
  • Standing at your desk while you make phone calls
  • Tidying your house
  • Preparing dinner
  • Walking to the car (I suggest parking at the far end of the parking lot at work and the grocery store to increase your activity) 
  • Taking a walk on your lunch break
  • Taking a yoga or pilates class, or any other form of exercise that you enjoy

Click here to read, “10 Desk Exercises You Should Be Doing Every Day”.

If you are pressed for time to fit in exercise, try multitasking.

When you drop the kids off at their extracurricular activities, rather than sitting and waiting for them to be finished, use this time to do an impromptu workout.  Walk around the block or if the weather isn’t nice, go to a nearby shopping centre and do a quick lap around the store.

If you are prone to watching a lot of television during the winter, then during the commercial breaks, get up and do a small work out.

Do three reps of 15 squats, lunges, push-ups, sit-ups, or go through a quick yoga flow of stretches.

Get a fitness tracker and aim to hit around 10,000 steps per day.

Especially if you are the type of person that needs to visually see your progress throughout the day.

The benefits of an active lifestyle are far reaching and include;
  • Higher energy levels
  • More restful sleep
  • Lower body mass index
  • Detoxification
  • Better mental clarity

By bringing awareness to our level of activity we can easily make adjustments to our lifestyle.  All this to ensure that we are taking care good of our health and maximizing our longevity.

With Sources From:

http://www.nchpad.org/403/2216/Sedentary~Lifestyle~is~Dangerous~to~Your~Health